Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

In pneumonia, specimens are rarely obtained directly from the infection site, the lung, so the pathogen causing infection is determined indirectly from multiple tests on peripheral clinical specimens, which may have imperfect and uncertain sensitivity and specificity, so inference about the cause is complex. Analytic approaches have included expert review of case-only results, case-control logistic regression, latent class analysis, and attributable fraction, but each has serious limitations and none naturally integrate multiple test results. The Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH) study required an analytic solution appropriate for a case-control design that could incorporate evidence from multiple specimens from cases and controls and that accounted for measurement error. We describe a Bayesian integrated approach we developed that combined and extended elements of attributable fraction and latent class analyses to meet some of these challenges and illustrate the advantage it confers regarding the challenges identified for other methods.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Infect Dis

Publication Date





S213 - S227


., Bayes theorem, epidemiologic methods, etiologic estimations, pneumonia, statistical models, Bayes Theorem, Biomedical Research, Case-Control Studies, Child, Child Health, Diagnostic Techniques, Respiratory System, Epidemiologic Research Design, Humans, Models, Statistical, Pneumonia, Pneumonia, Bacterial, Pneumonia, Viral, Sensitivity and Specificity